Cruel Summer. But I’m a Survivor.

It’s been a quiet summer in this household. Not much we can do when most of our income is either going to outrageous bills or being saved for a vehicle or, and in complete honesty, cases of beer, just to mentally withstand all that’s happened this summer so far.

We’re struggling to stay on our feet, but we can’t help feeling unstable when the rug is constantly being tugged from underneath us. But I’m keeping my brains about me. Which is hard. But I haven’t had to deal with my depression in the last few weeks and that’s helped.

One trouble with being in Southern California during the heat without a vehicle to accommodate our large family and an air conditioner that only brings the inside temp to around 87 degrees, is that we’re all cranky and trapped together inside. Our yard has gone to hell because my husband cannot physically fix it the way it needs work, and we can’t afford a gardener right now. I won’t do it because I have an enormous fear of spiders and guess what our house has? A HUGE infestation of spiders, especially Black Widows–really, they’re everywhere. I really wanna hire someone to use a pressure washer and clean the under-awning of the lip of the house, all the way around and then have them spray for spiders and Widows. I’ll tell ya, we’d spend a helluva lot more time outside if I didn’t have to worry about them.

Sunday, the whole day, I tackled cleaning the house by myself, while Evelyn watched the baby and only got me when she needed to nurse. I spent 6 hours cleaning the garage…then 3 more hours in it with my mother and brother, sipping beers and wine, hittin’ cigarettes and talking about life. Sure I was only mere steps away from the kids, but the break was much needed. I seriously cannot wait for cooler weather–back to playing outside; riding bikes, skating, using scooters, chalk, whatever. We’re just so tired of being trapped indoors.

I did finally get around to making a schedule. I even printed out multiple copies and stored them around the house…but with a 4 month old baby, I don’t even know why I attempted to schedule a life when she dictates the schedule. She refuses to sleep lately, unless I lay next to her and make sure she’s completely out before I do some ninja-like squirms and slips to sneak out of the room and by that time, I’m so far behind on chores and a writing schedule, I’m not even done with chores before I glance at the clock and see that shit, it’s almost dinner time, I gotta get to cooking before Derrick gets home and I never get the chance to write. I’m not complaining, I choose to breastfeed and so I gotta be at her beck and call and when she becks and calls, I run, otherwise the becking and calling turns into blood-curdling screams.

I just don’t know how J.K. Rowling did it? How in the hell did she find time to write as a single mother of four kids? I have 5 and a husband and all I wanna be able to squeeze into a day for myself is exercise and writing. I have to exercise early in the morning, otherwise it’s too hot later in the day and all the kids are bugging for snacks. I have to write early too, otherwise I can’t concentrate because kids are screaming and fighting all day long. Things will (hopefully) be easier when they go back to school next month. I’ll be here with just the baby and if I can get her to sleep, I’ll have more time to write.

One thing I am proud of: I’ve read and finished like 7 books so far this summer! That’s HUGE for a mom. Now, ask me to write a book report on the books I’ve read and I’d instantly draw a blank–damn mommy brain.

I’ve been raising kids for nearly 14 years and for some reason, I cannot remember how to sleep train a baby…anyone have any ideas? I need this 4 month old to give me some scheduled breaks to get shit done. I don’t mind clustering my chores and running around like a madwoman just to get them done; but I gotta fit some writing and exercise time in there too.

Derrick and I have been experiencing better intimacy too. Nothing sexual, though, sex has happened, finally. But I’ve been able to discuss things better with him and having more intimate conversations with him in regards to anything about the house, my emotions, my requests and other things and I don’t feel like he’s belittling me and hopefully he’s noticed a decrease in my nagging or complaining. I’m trying my hardest to work on my anxieties. And as much as I love my husband, I don’t need him to rescue me, or even attempt to help me or remedy the situation, sometimes I need to just vent to someone who “gets it” without judgment. Thanks to a couple of the books I’ve read this summer I’ve been learning to converse better. I really need to finish Passionate Marriage…I started it. I’m 4 chapters in, but I took a break and read three other books and finished them…but I’ll pick it back up soon. I like what it was teaching me.

Side note: 5 Love Languages is an amazing book and well worth the read. Even Derrick is reading the men’s version and I haven’t had any protest from him, he’s literally genuinely interested in learning my love language–which I think is “Quality Time” and I personally think he’s equally spread between “Words of Affirmation” and “Physical Touch” because as much as I hate (hate) being touched (yuck!) he appreciates a lingering hug, a deeper than a peck kiss and me running my nails through his hair. But I also noticed he appreciated a card I sneaked into his office a week ago that just let him know how proud I am of him and how much I appreciate him and how I am working on me for the benefit of both of us and for our family.

Whatever happens, I’ll figure it out. It’ll be okay, I’m a survivor. I’ve literally survived 100% of my worst days. We’ll get stable. We’ll be on our feet soon. It’ll be okay.

Breaking the Vicious Circle of Guilt

It’s been a few weeks and the atmosphere has drastically changed at home again.

Derrick and I have our fights. And sometimes they can get bad, real bad, especially when one of us has mental illness and the other tries to understand it, but sometimes fails to grasp OUR reality and it just becomes a huge frustrating mess of shit.

But we worked through it.

We talked and we apologized to each other and without invoking too much emotion, we explained where each other was coming from and it’s so useful to be able to reconnect like that, with a sense of calm maturity, especially after having such a strung-out immature fight that ended up with me sleeping on the couch, ignoring him for days and just being irritable AF. It’s hard living with Borderline Personality Disorder, but I have to imagine it’s even harder for Derrick. He doesn’t live with it, he doesn’t understand that we live with our emotions and anxieties always within the extremes. He may be upset, but I’ll be devastated. He may feel hurt, I may think the world is ending. He may be happy, I get elated. He may be frustrated and impatient, I become enraged.

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